Cabarrus' agricultural & environmental communities came together to bring new experiences to 3,200 local students
Sept. 19, 2013 -- When 11-year-old Kya walked into the Cabarrus County Fairgrounds and Arena with her sixth-grade class from Northwest Cabarrus Middle, she didn’t realize how many first-time experiences they would take part in—especially since they weren’t there for the rides.
“I’ve never seen a cow in person,” Kya exclaimed. “It’s bigger than I thought it would be. They look so different than how they look on TV. It was so cool!”
Kya and her classmates were participants in the 2013 Agribusiness and Environmental Sciences Conservation School Days. Between Sept. 12 and 14, more than 3,200 sixth-grade students from eight Cabarrus County public, private, charter and home schools attended the annual hands-on learning extravaganza.
Students actively participated in learning stations that spanned five categories: animals, horticulture, food and nutrition, conservation and science. The mini-sessions were taught by 135 volunteers that included FFA students from area high schools, Cooperative Extension volunteer groups, County and State agencies and other community organization. The volunteers provided their expertise and engaged students through sensory activities on topics, like beef cattle, biotechnology, air quality, healthy eating, vermicomposting, dairy milking and soil conservation.
Ben, a student from Hickory Ridge Middle, was taking a session on horticulture.
“It’s cool because we learn about stuff that isn’t in our books,” he said. “Learning outside of class is a different experience and you can learn a lot more. It’s really fun.”
The event is organized annually by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Cabarrus County Center. The group holds educational and training sessions on agriculture and life skills throughout the year.
“The purpose of the experience is to ignite wonder and excitement in these sixth-grade students,” said Robbie Furr, NC Cooperative Extension director for Cabarrus. “The event exposes them to broad-reaching options in the areas of agribusiness, environmental science and conservation—topics that are in line with North Carolina’s Essential Standards for science and healthful living.”
For more information on learning opportunities for all ages through the Cooperative Extension office, visit http://cabarrus.ces.ncsu.edu
or call 704-920-3310.